In 1992, Shigeru Miyamoto sat down for an interview with Famicom Tsuushin magazine, mostly to talk about Zelda, but also to shed some light on what it was like working at Nintendo at the time. It’s a very good read.
We’ve actually written about this interview previously, though that was apparently an incomplete translation; this new one by shmuplations covers the entire article, including the interviewer’s questions, which gives us a better look at this fascinating time in Nintendo’s history.
The Link to the Past stuff is interesting, of course, but I just like reading about the culture and attitudes of Nintendo at the time, and the honest and up-front answers Miyamoto is giving.
Like this, on crunch:
Q: Did you have to pull a lot of all-nighters?
Miyamoto: During development, I worked so hard that people asked me “What are you going to do when your body gives out since you never go home?”, but I always ensured that I got 8 hours of sleep a day so my brain doesn’t get tired.
Q: As we would expect from the maestro!
Miyamoto: I also made sure that the programmers were taking time off to sleep. Work never progresses if you don’t get any sleep. But, while it’s important to get some rest, it’s also not good to have people saying “Well, it’s 5PM, I’ll see you guys tomorrow.” If someone prances out the door right at 5PM when everyone’s still hard at work, their reaction will be “Who is this guy?” (laughs)
And this part, where he talks about his inspiration and the possibilities of the medium in one the sweetest little paragraphs I have ever seen written about the development of video games:
Miyamoto: In my opinion, a game isn’t just the time spent playing it. It also includes moments when you’re away from home and think “I’m going to play when I get back.” That means that we should be making games that cause players to think to themselves “Maybe I’ll play today for 5 minutes.” If you include even the things you’re not sure whether to call games under the umbrella of computer games, the ideas never end. Computer games are testing all sorts of new things. We’ll never run out of material.
The entire interview is of course well worth a look, so check it out here.
Total Recall is a look back at the history of video games through their characters, franchises, developers and trends.